In Monday night’s preseason game, guards Brandy Jimenez and Cassandra Sanchez played stellar defense as the Goleta Lady Bulls, a fifth- and sixth-grade girls basketball team, defeated their nemesis, the Santa Barbara Lady Ballers, 21-18 at the Downtown Boys and Girls Club.

Coming out fast, the Lady Bulls scored the first six points of the game, and then were shut out for rest of the first half but led 6-3.

“You could tell that we hadn’t played a game in a month,” coach Norman Lowe said. “It really showed in our offense as we were really slow to get off any good shots.”

In the second half, both teams started to warm up with the Lady Bulls getting easy buckets off steals by Jimenez and Sanchez.

“This is by far the best game Cassandra has played. She was all over the place on defense,” Lowe said. “And Brandy just brings it every game.”

The Ballers pounded the Lady Bulls on the boards, getting multiple shots after misses, but Jordyn Lilly and Hallie “The Beast” Magee held their own against the much taller Lady Baller team.

With the Ballers leading 14-13, Lilly stole the ball and raced down court, scored and was fouled. On the ensuing free throw, Lilly was called for a lane violation. The Ballers took the ball out, but the inbounds pass was stolen by Sanchez, who passed the ball to Devan Staggs. Staggs hit a 12-footer to give the Lady Bulls a lead they would not relinquish. Jimenez would later be fouled and make two free throws to essentially close the game.

“A bad first half, a better second half,” Lowe said. “It’s our off-season, and we’re seeing what we still need to work on to achieve our goals of becoming a great team.”

Lowe also praised the play of Lady Bulls players Maisie Schulman and Gwennie McInnes.

Both teams will meet again at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Goleta Boys and Girls Club.

Norman Lowe is a coach and parent for the Goleta Lady Bulls.